Katie Leonard is passionate about community development. Ms. Leonard is a social justice advocate who works to positively transform communities with business strategy as well as urban planning and public health frameworks.
She received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Florida and went on to receive her Master of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning, specializing in Health and the Built Environment.
Ms. Leonard later received her Master of Public Health from the University of South Florida where she specialized in Socio-Health Sciences. Ms. Leonard also holds a certificate in Community Real Estate Development from the University of South Florida.
Ms. Leonard has worked at the local level in Florida and Virginia to address social and health disparities, typically in low-income minority communities, by focusing on key factors such as education, workforce development, income, and housing.
Through her volunteer work in the re-entry space in Northern Virginia, Ms. Leonard began to understand the value of community-wide inclusivity of formerly incarcerated women and men and its impact on social issues in communities. She integrated her background in urban planning and public health into the second chance realm and in 2018 co-founded a for-profit business incubator that launches and grows businesses founded by those involved with the justice system.
Katie Leonard currently serves as a board member for three not-for-profit organizations (Alexandria Small Business Development Center, Opportunities, Alternatives, and Resources (OAR) in Fairfax County, and the Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation) . She is a member of the Community Leadership Council for Good Shepherd Housing, is a member of the City of Alexandria Commission on Employment and also a member of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce – Government Relations Committee.